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Re: What are the benefits of a machine-parseable ‘debian/copyright’ file?



Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org> writes:

> On Mon, 23 Mar 2009 11:59:29 +1100
> Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> 
> > > Are you saying that you don't want any BSD packages or that
> > > you're trying to make Debian out of only packages using GNU
> > > licences?
> > 
> > I would find it useful, for example, to more easily determine
> > which works, or parts of works, are FDL-licensed. It's easy to see
> > that others would have similar opinions on other licenses.
> 
> Then you are second-guessing ftp-master as well.

I don't know what you mean here. I'm not talking about whether a
package is DFSG-free; I'm talking about having the copyright and
license information discoverable before installing, to make a decision
about the package on that pasis.

> How do you expect to get a working system on that basis?

A working system without any FDL-licensed works? Pretty
straightforward, I suspect; they're thankfully a minority of packages
I consider non-essential.

Or perhaps I'm wrong, and there *are* some FDL-licensed parts of
packages that I consider important. In that case, I would consider it
even more important that the copyright and license information be
machine-parseable so that I can find out easily.

> It certainly doesn't warrant changing every single package in order
> to support it and if not all packages support it, the benefit is
> unachievable.

Not true. Take debtags, for instance: the benefit of easily
discovering the information they provide increases as more packages
adopt them; more is better than fewer, and it's not necessary for
every package to have debtags for it to be very useful.

> That does not mean that it is worthwhile reformatting the
> debian/copyright file in every single source package across Debian.
> Have you any idea how much work that actually involves? Let me give
> you a hint - it isn't going to happen.

I'm not sure whose position you're arguing against here, but it's not
mine.

-- 
 \      “I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without |
  `\   hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd |
_o__)                                   never expect it.” —Jack Handey |
Ben Finney

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